Mon, Oct 4, 2021

7 PM – 8 PM (GMT+2)

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Join this session of the Gerhart Center Webinar Series titled "Trade with Purpose" featuring Richard Dictus, president, amfori.

With the advent of sustainability thinking at the end of the previous century, corporate thinking about sustainable global supply chains that produce positive social, ecological and climate outcomes has flown. Many larger multinational companies are firmly committed, well beyond traditional CSR thinking. They have invested in systems to establish compliance to various Human Rights, global labor and other social standards originating from the OECD, UN, or EU. The thinking is best summarized as “trade with purpose” ensuring that retailers and intermediates proceed with intent in their buying behavior as it impacts further down the supply chain. Climate change, in particular, is now challenging conventional wisdom in a significant way. Countries like France, Germany, and Switzerland have put legislative and regulatory instruments in place for Human Rights and social performance. New EU legislation now also draws in climate impact. However, the standards and their implications are not so clear, and the webinar will explore this from the vantage point of a market-leading Business Association in Human Rights and social due diligence. What is the impact on trade relations? How can progress be made, and where do values converge? Or, is this going to create yet another divergence between the northern and southern hemispheres?


Richard Dictus's profile photo

Richard Dictus



Dictus joined amfori in June 2021 as president, based in the Association's head office in Brussels. amfori brings together over 2,400 retailers, importers, brands and associations from more than 40 countries. Its membership contains organizations of all sizes and sectors with a combined turnover of more than one trillion euros. These members have the power to change the world. amfori enables them to do that by driving environmental, social, and trade improvements in supply chains. 

Until January 2021, Dictus has been the UN resident coordinator (UNRC) in Egypt. He undertook the functions of UN humanitarian coordinator and resident coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq, from May to August 2020. In Baghdad, Dictus faced the immediate challenge of managing a Humanitarian Response Plan with a new Interim Government, which ceased with triple security, economic and COVID crisis.

Before that, positioning the UN system in fast-paced evolving human rights, stability, and development scenario in Egypt posed its challenges. As executive coordinator of UNV (2013-16), he engaged the corporate sector, volunteer-involving organizations, and global civil society and drove innovation with new products and volunteer services.

Dictus was UNRC / UNDP RR in Fiji, where he developed several innovative approaches to UN System coherence across 16 pacific countries and with 15 UN agencies. Richard furthermore served as UNRC/UNDP RR in Malawi, where he supported one of the first UN reform efforts ( Delivering as One), including creating a One UN Fund that attracted over its lifetime over US$200Mln.

He joined UNIDO in 1987, and he has subsequently been assigned with UNDP to countries in Arab States, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. As a UNDP assistant resident representative and later deputy resident representative, he worked on climate change, environment and natural resource management, disaster risk reduction, poverty reduction, private sector development, employment generation, youth development, and child labor.

Dictus graduated from the Technical University of Twente with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Development Studies. He furthered his education at Harvard/MIT, Cornell, and the United Nations Staff College.

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